Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Godspeed Janis Paige

Janis Paige, who appeared in such movies as Silk Stockings (1957) and Please Don't Eat the Daisies  (1960) as well as the TV show It's Always Jan, died on June 2 2024 at the age of 101.

Janis Paige was born Donna Mae Tjaden in Tacoma, Washington. She started singing in public when she was only five years old. After she graduated from Stadium High School in Tacoma, she, her mother, and her sister moved to Los Angeles. She sang at the Hollywood Canteen and at a club on  Cahuenga Boulevard for military personnel that was set up during World War II.

It was in 1944 that Janis Paige made her movie debut in Bathing Beauty. From the mid to late Forties she appeared in the films Hollywood Canteen (1944), Her Kind of Man (1946), Of Human Bondage (1946), Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946), The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946), Love and Learn (1947), Cheyenne (1947), Always Together (1947), Winter Meeting (1948), Wallflower (1948), Romance on the High Seas (1948), One Sunday Afternoon (1948), The Younger Brothers (1949), The House Across the Street (1949), La strada buia (1950), and This Side of the Law (1950).

In the Fifties Janis Paige starred in the short-lived sitcom It's Always Jan. She made her television debut in ABC Album in 1953. She appeared in the TV shows The Philip Morris Playhouse, Lux Video Theatre, Studio 57, Schlitz Playhouse of the Stars, Shower of Stars, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, General Electric Theatre, and The Ann Sothern Show. She made her debut on Broadway in Remains to Be Seen in 1952. She starred in the original production of The Pajama Game. She appeared in the movies Mister Universe (1951), Two Guys and a Gal (1951), Silk Stockings (1957), and Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960).

In the Sixties she appeared on Broadway in Here's Love and Mame. She appeared in the movies Bachelor in Paradise (1961), The Big Step (1961), Follow the Boys (1963), The Caretakers (1963), and Welcome to Hard Times (1967). She appeared on television in the shows Wagon Train, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, 87th Precinct, Aloca Premiere, The Dick Powell Show, Burke's Law, The Fugitive, and The Red Skelton Show.

In the Seventies Janis Paige had a regular role on the TV show Lanigan's Rabbi and a recurring role on Eight is Enough. She appeared on the television shows Sarge, Columbo, Banacek, Mannix, Joe Forrester, Doc, Medical Story, Police Story, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All's Fair, The Nancy Walker Show, The Betty White Show, The Love Boat, Alice, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie's Angels, The Rockford Files, and All in the Family.

In the Eighties Janis Paige had recurring role son the shows Gun Shy; Baby Makes Five; Trapper John, M.D.; General Hospital, and Santa Barbara. She appeared on the shows Happy Days; Bret Maverick; Flamingo Road; Lewis & Clark; Too Close for Comfort; Romance Theatre; Matt Houston; St. Elsewhere; Fantasy Island; Trauma Center; Night Court; Capitol; Mission: Impossible; and Shades of LA. She appeared on Broadway in Alone Together.

In the Nineties she continued to appear on Santa Barbara. She guest starred on the shows Hearts Are Wild, Room for Two, Legend, and Caroline in the City. She appeared in the movie Natural Causes (1994). In 2001 she guest starred on the show Family Law.

Janis Paige was an incredible talent. She was a great singer, with an absolutely beautiful voice. It is no wonder she was cast in so many musicals. Of course, she also had great talent as an actor. For many she may be best remembered for her guest appearance on All in the Family on which she played Denise, the diner waitress who tempts Archie Bunker to cheat on his wife Edith. In Silk Stockings she played Hollywood actress Peggy Dayton, who is unsure about playing in her first drama. On Trapper John, M.D. she played Catherine Hackett, the hard-nosed hospital administrator who often comes into conflict with the surgeon of the title. In The Caretakers she played one of the patients at a mental hospital, a former prostitute named Marion. Throughout her career Janis Paige played a wide variety of roles in a wide variety of movies and TV shows.

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